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2000 Slk230 Limited Edition
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Discussion Starter #1
Long story... This is my first post/ thread but i have been reading this forum for a long long time.

My car is a 2000 SLK230. Southern California.

I started losing coolant first, and then when i took it to the shop they diagnosed it with a blown head gasket.

after opening it, they discovered that the water pump was leaking. Anyways after getting the whole works done in a week. I drove it for like 5-10 miles and the engine started smoking like crazy at the red light, apparently they forgot to put the clamp back on the heater hose and coolant leaked everywhere.

WHICH , in turn caused the car to over-heat again!! so now its back in the shop to get the valve job and everything again :(

My questions are

Is there any limit to how many times the head can be re-surfaced in the machine shop?

Are there any consequences of over-heating twice? :(

Is there anything i should specifically check for this time - _-? i should have been more careful but the heater hose is like behind the engine.
no excuses though i guess.

Any other comments or suggestions?

Thank you!

BTW, does anyone know if the temperature gauge in the dashboard is taken from the coolant tank or the engine itself?
 

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1998 SLK 230
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not sure on the other questions but how high did the temp read on the dash?

coolant temp sensor is the green circled sensor. it measures the temp of the coolant immediately after it exits the engine
 

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2000 Slk230 Limited Edition
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for replying.

The dash temp never crossed 90-95 at any point. Usually i run at about 80ish but sometime it can go up to 95 max. Maybe 100 if i am not reading it right?. but i have read around that, that is normal?

The weird thing is that even when my coolant tank was completely empty the temp did not go over that? so that is why i was wonder if in a case like mine where you lose all your coolant, the temp gauge doesn't really have anything to measure? if that makes sense.
 

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SLK 230 Kompressor 1998
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366 Posts
How much coolant did you loose? the whole thing all at once or gradually?

I had an accident about 3 month ago which damaged my radiator, it leaked dry and I had to drive about 500m to park it where it is safe at that time, but nothing happened to gasket (I presume)
 

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2003 SLK230
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653 Posts
As long as the needle in the temp gauge remained below the red area, I doubt you did any damage to the engine.
 

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2000 Slk230 Limited Edition
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Discussion Starter #6
He also told me that the heater hose got unplugged because the supercharger in our engines cause more pressure than normal which caused it get unplugged when I engaged it after the test drive. I don't know if that's true?

@RedScorpion, I am not sure if I lost coolant slowly or gradually but I think I lost at a pretty high pressure since the heater was blowing hot and suddenly it switched to cold which causeed me to panic and call the shop up back, and the coolant light came on like 5 seconds later or so. He did tell me to drive it back to him about 5 miles but to keep looking at the temp gauge.

@dynhm6 Thanks, yeah i hope it it didn't either. I was just in shock that my car overheated again in like less than an hour of having it back.

I got some pictures of the head and the engine after they took it off this morning, if anyone is interested.




 

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2001 E55 AMG
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The picture of the block #2,I can't tell if it's the head gasket or the block,but it doesn't look like it's just been done...Maybe (and it has been known) they thought it was something else,charged you for the head then discovered it was the head...If you get my meaning?......If that had just been done then the block would be clean....and it certainly doesn't look like a day old gasket.
 

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2000 Slk230 Limited Edition
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Discussion Starter #9
@SHAUNE55, do you mean that the block doesn't look clean in the last picture?

I saw the used head gasket after the first time they took it out, so i don't know why the one in the 2nd pic looks so bad.

I actually thought of the same thing when i saw the pic after it came from the machine shop, that it does not look that clean.

Does anyone know how long does it take for the machine shop to re-surface it? since all of this happened today and i am wondering if its possible
 

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1998 SLK 230
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He also told me that the heater hose got unplugged because the supercharger in our engines cause more pressure than normal which caused it get unplugged when I engaged it after the test drive. I don't know if that's true?

that is not true... he probably forgot to tighten the hose clamp himself!

the cooling system pressure does not relate to the supercharger at all. the supercharger forces air into the intake into the combustion chamber to create power.

only thing that regulates coolant/water pressure is the radiator cap... which will relieve pressure once it hits a certain point (as defined by the spring in the cap).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
@ Subby, yeah i thought that sounded like a weak excuse. But I got the car back today, runs pretty well so I am satisfied for now.

I know this has been probably asked before but we looked at the engine mounts and they are totally collapsed but i really do not have that kind of cash right now to get it done but will get it fixed if it will cause damage to the engine. so does anyone know what kind of damage they could cause?
 

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2001 SLK 320(217K Miles), 2002 E320 Special Edition(183K Miles)
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For starters, change you mechanic! If he cannot differentiate between a leaking waterpump and a blown headgasket, then you probably don't want him to do anything on your car. :mad:
Was the gasket even blown? And did he charge you anything to fix his bad job?
Secondly, consider doing the engine mounts yourself. Apparently it is quite a quick and easy job on the 230. Of course that is IF the engine mountings are really bad. After you previous experiences, I wouldn't believe anything that mechanics tells.
Regarding bad mountings, you can get away with it for some time if the engine had not dropped too much so that it affect your drivetrain alignment. If it had dropped a lot, a manual shift may start having problems in selecting gears. It may also affect the flex discs on the driveshaft, which will be another few hundreds of dollars.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
@kobus, thanks for the advice. that sounds like you know what your talking about
yeah i saw the gasket both the times he changed it and it looked really bad, and yes it was a different gasket each time for sure. and no he did not charge me anything the second time because he gave me a 1 year warranty on it and it happened the same day i picked it up within like an hour?.

i saw the engine mounts and they are definitely collapsed. and the car shakes in reverse and i read around here that it is a sign of bad engine mounts?. i would want to do the engine mounts myself but i do not have any tools to jack the engine up and i really do not want to damage anything. I have an automatic and sometimes i get jerky shifts after cold start, i checked the condition of the fluid through the dipstick and it did not look too dirty. I have carsoft and i want to try resetting the transmission but i am afraid as to how to set them again?.

right now the maf is gone bad again, it gave me a code before and i cleaned it and it went away but now its back and i cleaned it but it came back on again after a couple more starts. i changed the air filter before cleaning it this time too. the filter was like really super dirty. i think its time to get a new one now :(. that and the engine mounts. a lot of money in one month :(
 

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2001 SLK 320(217K Miles), 2002 E320 Special Edition(183K Miles)
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First to replace is the MAF - that IS critical, the engine mounts aren't.

Regarding jerky shift when cold - If you are talking about the first to second shift, that is part of the MB setup to allow the cats to warm up. Just allow the car to warm up for a minute or so.
Alway a difficult decision to make if you do not have the tools whether to buy the tools or take it to a mechanic. In this case, the tools you need for replacing the engine mounts are things you will always use again. E.g. a hydraulic lift, preferably low-profile, you can buy at Sears for a reasonable price (or at any other shop like Kragen). When it's time to change your disc pads, you'll be happy that you bought the lift. :) For other tools, just buy the 2 or 3 you will need for this job to keep the price down. Next time you change the afore-mentioned disc pads, you buy the 1 or 2 tools for that. After some time you'll have a full set of tools and saved major bucks. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #16
@kobus, yeah i just ordered the maf and a cabin filter from autohaus. pretty cheap compared to dealer prices. I cleared the code and i am going to be driving it for the next couple of days till it arrives. I hope i am not going to damage anything, so far i have not really noticed any performance difference but we'll see.

I would actually love to have my own set of tools which i can use to do all this stuff but i also have the problem of storing them as i am in college and live in a dorm. and there is no space back home either. I got a quote from my mechanic for 100 bucks to change the engine mounts and the tranny mount, i was thinking since that is just another 18 dollars i would go ahead and get that changed too. he will also do the fuel filter at the same time because the parts dept at the dealer told me that a bad fuel filter can also cause the maf to go bad and i need to do it soon anyways. btw do you know if i need to buy any other parts with the fuel filter? like hoses or anything?

Thanks for all the advice. i love reading this forum in fact i am pretty sure i check it as often as my email!
 

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Ah, the joy of dorm life. I did overhaul my room mate's car engine in our dorm room, but that was many years ago in a different era. :D

The $100 is a very good price for the engine and transmission mount. Maybe your mechanic does have a conscience. :cool:

The fuel filter will NOT affect the MAF. since the fuel never passes it on its way into the cylinder. The parts guy does not know what he is talking about, or he was jerking you around. :mad: Now a dirty engine air filter will damage the MAF, so maybe he got confused. So once again prioritizing things, the air filter is more important to replace than the fuel filter if you don't know when either has been replaced.
Nothing else is needed when replacing the fuel filter, except maybe the pipe clamps. The standard Benz clamps are some very fancy clamps for which special tools are required. Most people just replace them with standard worm clamps. If I remember correctly, the fuel filter is replaced every 80K miles, but I normally go 120K miles since I don't add fuel from handheld cans and in California rust is not really a problem with storage tanks due to the stringent rules to prevent leakage, requiring double-walled storage tanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
ok i think i should replace the fuel filter anyways since i am at 91k and i have no idea when it was changed before or if it ever was and its included in the 100 dollar labor. the air filter was 30 dollars from mb only :(. none of the auto supply stores had it.

I am starting to experience a lag in accelerating which i think is because the engine is running lean due to bad maf?. i hope i get the maf soon and as a bonus i can finally change the cabin filter and get rid of the weird wet smell from the aircon :D.

btw have you ever tried to reset your transmission adaptation on carsoft? and do you know if there is a special way to drive after doing it?

Other than that i think i love the car :D with its broken window going up too far (i already opened the door trim and did not find any pieces on the floor so opted to just leave it alone)

do you think that a bad maf can also cause weird downshifts? like when slowing down for a light instead of using the brake to stop?

another weird thing that i noticed when i was looking at live engine stats on carsoft, there wasn't any data for the left(?) or maybe it was right? but one of the lambda(?) sensors before and after cat did not have any data at all. do our cars only have them on one side?

this is a great learning opportunity in a way :)
 

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Nope, I've never done the transmission reset using Carsoft. I'm a bit hesitant to do that. But you can do the throttle reset - that seems to help quite a bit. You don't need Carsoft for that however. Just search the stickies for the procedure.
A bad MAF can have various effects, but I don't think it will affect downshifts. Changing the gearbox oil may help, but that is quite an expensive proposition since the genuine fluid is about $12 a quart. :eek:

Regarding the lamba readings, remember you only have 1 side (4 cylinder). The V6 has 2 sides. For now, replace the MAF, clear all the codes and drive it for some time before checking the codes. A bad MAF can set quite a few other codes (e.g. for the O2 sensors) even if there is no real problem with them.
 
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